By DPPS/Christine Muchira
Deputy President William Ruto Thursday said the Government will deal firmly with anyone engaging in doping.
Ruto put on notice sports personalities and administrators in the country saying those abetting the practice will face the law.
“All institutions in Government from the Executive, Legislature and others have demonstrated that we are committed to clean sports, that is what Kenya is known for and it is not about to change,” said the Deputy President when he arrived in Rio de Janerio, Brazil Thursday.
The Deputy President is in Brazil to join Kenyan athletes for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“We now have legislation that gives the Kenya Anti-Doping Agency the mandate, tools and the force of law to ensure that Kenya becomes a doping-free nation,” he noted. Mr Ruto said the Government will not allow a few individuals who want to use shortcuts, to ruin Kenya’s hard-earned reputation in athletics.
“All Kenyan athletes have been tested and we have made sure that we have complied with requests and demands from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Athletics Association of Federations (IAAF), said DP Ruto”
“Stand with the team”
Ruto assured that the government will protect the millions of Kenyans who love sport and the reputation of hundreds of athletes who compete fairly.
“We must protect our sports status, ensure the law is followed and anyone falling on the wrong side will be dealt with. It should be clearly understood by our sports administrators and sportsmen and women that the law will be applied.”
The Deputy President said the Government had come good on its promise to Team Kenya that either the President or himself would travel to Rio to “stand with the team”.
“We are here in anticipation that Kenya will defend its position as the reigning world champions. The team is upbeat and we expect the first gold medal tomorrow morning that will herald our hunt for medals in this city,” he said
“My presence here is a confirmation that Kenyans stand with their team. I have come loaded with goodwill messages and people back home are glued to their screens knowing we have men and women who will run for the country,” he added.
DP Ruto will Friday join Kenyan fans at the Olympic Stadium to watch the 10,000 metres women finals that represents Team Kenya’s first opportunity to win a medal.
The race, scheduled for 11.10am local time, will see Kenyan trio Vivian Cheruiyot, Alice Aprot and Betsy Saina compete for honours.
David Rudisha, Olympic Gold medalist at the Beijing World Athletics Championship 2015, will also contest the 800 metres heats.
At the airport, the Deputy President was received by National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) President Kipchoge Keino, chief of mission for the Kenyan team Steve Soi and the Kenyan Embassy in Brazil officials led by Ambassador Isaac Ochieng.
Others were Sports Kenya chairman Fred Muteti, Athletics Kenya President Lieutenant General (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, Kenya National Sports Council chairman Nderitu Gikaria, Sports Commissioner Gordon Oluoch, former world marathon champion Paul Tergat and representatives of the Brazilian Government.
In Rio, Team Kenya will look to better the 11 medals (two gold, four silver and five bronze) it amassed at the London 2012 Olympics.
Kenya is participating in seven disciplines: athletics, swimming, judo, boxing, archery, rugby and weightlifting.
Later, Mr Ruto held a roundtable discussion with the Rio Chamber of Commerce where talks centred on Kenya’s interests in agro processing and value addition in dairy and beef farming, renewable energy, mass public transport and light rail systems in major towns.